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14 May 2001, 11:09 am
ASSA ABLOY's Round The World Race Boat Named at Tower Bridge
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Volvo Ocean Race

ASSA ABLOY's newly built Volvo Ocean 60 race boat was named at Tower Bridge in London by Elisabeth Rehn, the former Finnish Minister of Defence and presidential candidate.
ASSA ABLOY's newly built Volvo Ocean 60 race boat was named at Tower Bridge in London by Elisabeth Rehn, the former Finnish Minister of Defence and presidential candidate. ASSA ABLOY is the world's leading lock group and will participate in the Volvo Ocean Race to support the integration process of more than 100 companies worldwide and to develop the ASSA ABLOY corporate identity.

During this warm spring evening, the ultra-light ASSA ABLOY race boat sailed under full spinnaker, reaching through the world's famous and historical Tower Bridge. This was the first of two new boats being revealed to the cheering public and more than one hundred employees, friends and family worldwide, gathered for this special occasion.

Godmother Elisabeth Rehn had the honour to break the traditional bottle on the bow and said, "Sailing under the Swedish flag, built in Britain and manned by a multinational crew led by a Dutch skipper, ASSA ABLOY is truly a good representative for the international integration."

ASSA ABLOY has built two identical boats in order to maximise speed and sail testing using one boat as a benchmark. Only one of the two boats will be on the start line of the Volvo Ocean Race in Southampton on September 23, 2001. The second boat is scheduled for launching in a few days.

The ASSA ABLOY Racing Team is truly dedicated to make the boat go faster. To that end, the boat has been built as light as possible. It is an extremely demanding task looking for innovative solutions on every small detail, and adding up the grams spared to save a few kilograms. The hulls were built using the "female mould" construction method. This method has allowed the team to leave the boats unpainted, thus saving weight during construction. It is the first time ever that a boat of this kind will remain unpainted, only to be varnished. The total weight saving is estimated at 80 kilograms.

At Green Marine in Southampton and Lymington, up to 50 people have been working on the construction of the boats over a seven-month period. In total, it took more than 25 000 'man-hours' per boat. Technical Director and Swedish Whitbread veteran Magnus Olsson has further developed the basic Bruce Farr design for the boat. Olsson worked closely with Construction Manager Jason Carrington and the team's technical partner, Semcon. This Swedish design and development company has been carefully analysing, testing and developing various technical solutions in order to get the best results.

"We have aimed to develop the best parts of earlier designs and have been working on solutions that are both light and simple to handle on the boat. The deck layout is inspired by the W60 boats EF and Silk Cut, which were designed with both the long legs and the shorter ones in mind. Sailing on the boat for the first time this week has proved our ideas to be realistic" said a satisfied Technical Director Magnus Olsson.

The first boat will sail to Gothenburg, Sweden, after the ceremony, whilst the second boat will arrive a week later to start an intense period of two boat testing leading up to the start of the Volvo Ocean Race in September.


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